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Cablegate: Weekly Magazines: Second in a Series On French Media

VZCZCXRO4086
RR RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHFR #7635/01 3351440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011440Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3512
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1458
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0262

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 007635

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/PPD, EUR/WE, INR, R

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC PREL KPAO FR
SUBJECT: WEEKLY MAGAZINES: SECOND IN A SERIES ON FRENCH MEDIA

PARIS 00007635 001.2 OF 002


Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Embassy Paris has been reviewing and recalibrating its
media strategy for 2006-2007, in order to maintain the appropriate
level of focus of print media while building on our contacts with
radio and TV media. This analysis of French weekly magazines is the
second in a series of cables analyzing the media environment. End
Summary.

------------------------------
NATIONAL WEEKLY NEWS MAGAZINES
------------------------------

2. (U) The national weeklies were initially aimed at the elites, but
today they work to capture a larger audience's interest with
politics and current affairs. L'Express (circulation 544,575), Le
Point (circulation 391,189), and left-of-center Le Nouvel
Observateur (circulation 542,898), all belong in this category.
Other weeklies include Paris-Match (circulation 728,671), La Vie
(circulation 175,198), and Marianne (circulation 320,000).

------------------------------
L'EXPRESS, CIRCULATION 544,575
------------------------------

3. (U) Modeled on the formats of Time and Der Spiegel (German),
L'Express was founded in 1953. While in the mid-50s L'Express
reflected the views of Pierre Mendes-France and his opposition to
Charles de Gaulle, today L'Express is a general-interest magazine
with no political party affiliation. Until September 2002, it was
run by the Express-Expansion Group, Inc., a holding company of
Vivendi Universal. In November 2005, Socpresse S.A. sold 35 percent
of its shares in L'Express to Roularta Media France group. In 2006,
Roularta took full possession of L'Express and L'Expansion.

4. (SBU) Key journalists include news director Christophe Barbier,
senior foreign editor Christian Makarian, foreign reporters
Dominique Lagarde and Vincent Hugeux, as well as commentator and
international affairs correspondent Bernard Guetta. The New York
correspondent is Philippe Coste.

-----------------------------
LE POINT, CIRCULATION 391,189
-----------------------------

5. (SBU) Claude Imbert founded Le Point in 1972 with a group of
journalists who had left L'Express. Le Point is now in the hands of
the Pinault family, who also own "Artemis" (Printemps Redoute, FNAC,
Gucci, Yves Saint-Laurent, Christie's, etc.). Francois Pinault is
CEO of the group as well as a major art collector in France. In
2000, Franz-Olivier Giesbert replaced Claude Imbert as CEO, but
Imbert remained on board as an editorialist and honorary president.
Other key journalists include news director Michel Colomes, senior
foreign editor Pierre Beylau, senior political editor Catherine
Pegard, and economic and science correspondent Patrick Bonazza. The
New York correspondent is Philippe Antoine (also correspondent for
RTL radio).

------------------------------------------
LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, CIRCULATION 542,898
------------------------------------------

6. (U) Claude Perdriel and Jean Daniel Bensaid, two prominent
leftists, founded Le Nouvel Observateur in 1964. Affectionately
called "Le Nouvel Obs," the magazine is now France's leading
left-of-center weekly publication. Since 1984, Claude Perdriel has
been the majority shareholder, with 93 percent of the group which
also publishes the magazines Challenges and Science et Avenir; the
remaining 6 percent and 1 percent are held by Le Monde and the
magazine's journalists, respectively.

7. (SBU) Director Jean Daniel Bensaid is a key figure in French
media circles, although he has been progressively transferring
management to news directors Laurent Joffrin and Serge Lafaurie.
Algerian-born Bensaid was an active supporter of Algerian
independence, and was a confidante of the late President Mitterrand
during the latter's first term. He is deeply attached to France's
policy independence and its international role, especially in the
Middle East. Although not anti-American per se, he was highly
critical of the war in Iraq and remains generally critical of
American foreign policy. Le Nouvel Obs has a reputation for a
pro-Israeli editorial slant. Key journalists include deputy news
directors Jacques Julliard and Josette Alia, European correspondent
Jean-Gabriel Fredet, political editor Pierre Benichou, foreign

PARIS 00007635 002.2 OF 002


editor Rene Backmann, and commentator and international affairs
correspondent K. S. Karol. New York correspondent is Philippe
Boulet-Gercourt.

--------------------------------
PARIS-MATCH, CIRCULATION 728,671
--------------------------------

8. (SBU) Paris-Match is the top weekly magazine in terms of
circulation. While the other weeklies, L'Express, Le Point and Le
Nouvel Observateur, are frequently compared to TIME and NEWSWEEK,
Paris-Match is more often called the French LIFE magazine. The
magazine emphasizes the number and quality of its photos -- the
magazine's photographers are among the best-known in France -- and
the magazine's slogan is "Weight of the words, shock of the photos."
The magazine celebrated its 3000th issue in November. It is also
focuses more on people than on issues, particularly political
issues.

-------------------------------------------
LE JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE, CIRCULATION 274,304
-------------------------------------------

9. (U) Le Journal du Dimanche is one of the few newspapers published
in France on Sunday. It aims to provide entertaining and timely
reporting, and focuses in large measure on weekly trends in domestic
French politics.

-------------------------------------------
COURRIER INTERNATIONAL, CIRCULATION 195,043
-------------------------------------------

10. (U) The weekly Courrier International (part of La Vie-Le Monde
group) publishes, in French, a selection of important articles from
the worldwide press.

---------------------------------------
LE CANARD ENCHAINE, CIRCULATION 550,000
---------------------------------------

11. (U) The satirical Wednesday weekly Le Canard Enchaine, founded
in 1916, is an exception on the press scene, maintaining its
editorial independence by refusing any advertising. Le Canard
Enchaine's journalists own the paper, and they write in a humorous
or mocking tone, especially when covering politicians. The paper
criticizes abuses of power through caricatures and puns and is one
of France's few examples of investigative journalism. Over the
course years, Le Canard Enchaine has uncovered a number of serious
affairs. It is particularly caustic and biting when reporting on
current U.S. policies, although unsparing of French politicians as
well.

------------------
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
------------------

12. (U) Among business magazines, the independent monthly Capital
(circulation 375,974), owned by Prisma Presse under the auspices of
Bertelsmann and Jahr groups, has reinforced its lead position ahead
of monthly L'Expansion (circulation 166,408), although the latter
remains more influential in business circles.

13. (U) Radio and television guides are among the most popular
French magazines. TeleZ (1,736,569), Tele 7 jours (1,751,889), Tele
Loisirs (1,381,304), and Tele Star (1,404,249) have the largest
circulation.

14. (U) Celebrity-watcher and women's magazines are also
flourishing. Gala (334,507), Point de Vue (298,777), Voici
(528,084), Closer (420,763), Ici Paris (421,953), Choc (368,473) are
best-known for their coverage of jet-setters. Marie-Claire
(480,288), Elle (352,026), Marie-France (197,520), Femme Actuelle
(1,233,523), and Prima (624,092) contribute to a traditional image
of French fashion, beauty and art of living, while developing
in-depth reporting and active involvement in social issues.

15. (U) France also has a significant number of elite publications
akin to Foreign Affairs in the U.S., especially Politique
Internationale, Politique Etrangere, La Revue des Deux Mondes,
Commentaire, and Le Debat. The cultural press has attractive titles
across many domains paticularly with Beaux-Arts Magazine (monthly,
52,961), Art Press, Chronic'Art, Technikart (monthly, 43,900), Le
Magazine litteraire (monthly, 48,412), La Quinzaine litteraire, and
Diapason (monthly, 39,599).
STAPLETON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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